It’s unlikely there’s a medium more ravaged by the sands of time than video games. Classic books, films, plays, and TV shows can be enjoyed by anyone, but technical limitations make reverting to older titles more difficult. On the flip side, some games are more appealing with the benefit of hindsight.
As gamers get older, their tastes change, and so do their expectations for certain titles. Attributes previously written off as weakeners can prove strengths when revisiting the gameplay. Like a good wine, some games really do get better with age.
10 Oddworld’s Social Satire And Dark Humor
While the trial-and-error design, finicky controls, and lack of checkpoints make the first few Oddworld titles much harder than they need to be, their themes of corporate greed and ecological destruction are more likely to be appreciated by older gamers. Abe manages to remain a compelling Everyman, and the social satire still holds up. The first titles also deserve kudos for sticking to a more timeless 2D graphical style than following the trend of blocky polygonal graphics. Of the two PlayStation titles, Abe’s Exoddus fares the best with its numerous gameplay tweaks and additional features.
9 Intelligent Qube’s Simple Appearance Belies Its Hidden Depths
This deceptively simple-looking puzzler was unfairly dismissed by gamers during its initial 1997 release, but its strengths have become more apparent over time. Once players think they’ve gotten a hang of the block capturing mechanics, the game tosses some curveballs that force them to think ahead. Gamers also have to work quickly, for every green block that’s not captured means less ground to stand on. In contrast to the bouncy tunes which permeate every other puzzle title, Takayuki Hattori’s score consists of several majestic and haunting compositions performed by a live orchestra.
8 Families Can Share And Enjoy Through Little Big Planet
Years before Super Mario MakerBritish developer Media Molecule fused platforming with creation in their whimsical Little Big Planet titles. While several titles during the HD era of gaming were dedicated to being loud and destructive, Sackboy’s adventures showcased the virtues of creativity, socializing, and having fun. Games like this seemed tailor-made for gamers who have children. Parents will have endless fun utilizing the game’s robust and seemingly boundless level editor with their kids. In addition, the main campaign of Little Big Planet 2 sports a wide variety of fun levels bolstered by charming characters, a great selection of licensed tracks, and lively vocal performances.
7 Final Fantasy IX Was The End Of An Era
Square caught many gamers off guard when they decided to cap off the PlayStation era with a more whimsical-looking adventure after a series of darker and grittier entries. However, beneath its more lighthearted appearance lay a tale that touched on very mature themes, including mortality.
Zidane also proved a breath of fresh air after a series of conflicted and brooding heroes. He displays more emotion than Squall without succumbing to the annoyance of Tidus. Like VII, it felt like the end of an era. It was the last title Hironobu Sakaguchi wrote and the last to feature entirely text-based dialogue.
6 Journey Is A Unforgettable Pilgrimage
Following Thatgamecompany’s prior titles such as Flow and Flower, Journey may be Jenova Chen’s ultimate triumph. Its striking art direction, minimalist storytelling, and immersive multiplayer component made for one of the PlayStation 3’s greatest titles – and one of the best games of that console’s generation. Mixing elements of platforming and graphic adventure, the game tasked players with making their way to a looming mountain in a vast desert. The game eschews exposition and voice-over for abstraction and pathos. Of course, one cannot talk about this game without mentioning Austin Wintory’s ambient orchestral score, which changed based on the player’s actions.
5 Silent Hill 2 Is Still One Of The Scariest Games Of All Time
The first title took a considerably more psychological approach to survival horror than its contemporaries, but it was held back by an overemphasis on combat and a clichéd ‘evil cult’ narrative. Its sequel made the nature of the town more ambiguous, featured a more compelling cast of characters with their own personal struggles, and boasted a more mature and unnerving tale that touched on subjects few games would dare to attempt. With the added horsepower of the PlayStation 2, Masahiro Ito’s team were able to fully realize their initial vision without any caveats. years later, Silent Hill 2 is still one of the scariest titles ever made.
4 Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time Revitalized The Series
Jordan Mechner paved the way for the cinematic platformer genre with the Apple II title Prince of Persia. After tomb Raider brought the format into the world of polygons, the Arabian monarch didn’t fare nearly as well with his underwhelming 3D debut. Fortunately, Mechner and Ubisoft Montreal would revitalize the series years later with The Sands of Time.
Sporting tight and responsive parkour platforming mechanics and mixing it with an ingenious time-rewind feature, the gameset a new standard for realistic platformers. Its compelling lead character and his organically written relationship with Farah ensure this title will prove more appealing to older players.
3 Shadow Of The Colossus Broke Bounds In Video Game Narrative
Sporting an emotionally-charged journey that juxtaposed its exhilarating boss fights with quiet treks through a desolate landscape, Fumito Ueda’s team proved that Icon was no fluke. Shadow of the Colossus tasks players with discovering and slaying several majestic-looking creatures to resurrect the main character’s betrothed. What follows is a somber and thought-provoking tale that questions whether the hero’s cause is as just and noble as it initially appeared, and it also tests how far players will go to save someone they love. While the controls and physics can be annoying, players who look past all that are rewarded with an unforgettable gaming experience.
2 Okami Proved To Be Clover’s Masterpiece
Amaterasu’s adventure represented a significant deviation from Hideki Kamiya’s high-octane and ostentatious action titles. Sporting a regal sumi-e art-direction and a tale defined by well-rounded characters, Okami was a majestic swan song for Clover Studio. Unfortunately, at the time of release, the title was largely overshadowed by the then-upcoming consoles such as the Xbox 360, and it failed to reach the audience it so richly deserved. However, Capcom has corrected this by giving the title a new life through its numerous re-releases. Here’s hoping Kamyia will get the opportunity to make the follow-up he’s expressed interest in.
1 Castlevania Symphony Of The Night Is As Immortal As Its Vampiric Protagonist
At the time of its initial release, Symphony of the Night’s use of sprite-based pixel art on the Sony PlayStation was lambasted by certain publications as being outdated. However, time has been more kind to Alucard’s adventure compared to the console’s more cutting-edge releases. Its non-linear structure, distinct locales, and sense of character progression helped define the direction for further entries in the series. Compared to its predecessors, Symphony boasted more replay value with multiple endings and numerous secrets just begging to be discovered. Like its cursed hero, this title will never age.
NEXT: Castlevania: 10 Toughest Bosses In The Series, Ranked